The Solomeo School
The Solomeo School
The "School of Craftsmanship" was born in Solomeo.
The school has four curricula: the disciplines of Mending
and Linking, Cutting and Assembly, Horticulture and
Gardening, and Masonry. Of these four subjects, the first
two concern Brunello Cucinelli's main business activity,
while the latter two its work on the restoration of the village
and area of Solomeo and the enhancement of its landscape
– all real, existing, living things.
The significance of the school is certainly that of a
long-cherished dream and at the same time the significant
application of a new revolutionary concept of humanistic
capitalism that Brunello created and put into practise.
From this came the ideal motive for the school: to restore
craftsmanship’s nobility and pay appropriate wages for this
specialised type of work. This is, in fact, the long-term
goal of the Solomeo School: to reverse this tendency and
start a regenerative process – a sort of neo-renaissance
of the noble values of craftsmanship – while giving young
people trust in the future once more.
For this reason the Solomeo School covers all expenses during
the time its students are studying and provides special teachers.
These teachers are the same men that have worked for years,
and still work, in each of the four disciplines. These teachers
are truly special people, not only because they bring deep,
refined knowledge about the tradition of craftsmanship but
also because they are good people whose love for their work
and for life, as well as technical knowledge, ethics, passion
and trust in themselves, are passed on to the students.
These are all important features at the heart of personal
well-being and the collective success of the future.
Courses last 9 months and classes number 10/15 students
each depending on the discipline.
All students have replied to a public call for applications,
eager to learn a trade. They all receive a wage of 700 euros
per month. Lessons are held from 8 am to 1 pm.
Schools like this can tangibly contribute to spreading
the humanistic capitalism that has, for some time,
been applied at Brunello Cucinelli with long-lasting
and continuously growing success – success that
is not only economic but also cultural.
In fact, the structure of the school, in that it is inspired
by the structure of ancient learning, is to some extent
revolutionary when compared with modern schools.
Besides education, the aim is to restore the educational
institution as a special place where passionate, expert
teachers communicate their love for their subject and
their artisan know-how with great ease, attributing a
humanistic and noble value to their trade.
In terms of its economic and social organisation,
the Solomeo School intends to restore esteem to such
work, as it was in ancient medieval workshops,
and wants to give the so-called 'minor' arts and trades
the dignity they deserve both historically and naturally.
There are great examples of practical, useful schools in
the past. Among these is the William Morris School,
specifically called 'Arts and Crafts', which inspired and
influenced the Solomeo School project for its attraction
to social and humanistic principles.
The Solomeo School dreams of this type of humanistic
and naturalistic learning, training highly qualified skilled
workers who are much needed in the clothing and fashion
sectors, as well as in the building industry and for tending
to our green spaces. And so young men and women who
want to learn the art of mending and linking could become
technical experts in the knitwear sector. Those who choose
cutting and assembly will become experts in the assembly
sector. Those who study horticulture and gardening under
the guide of a master gardener will learn cultivation
techniques as well as how to love and respect nature.
They will re-establish gardening as an art form, something
in which Italy has always excelled but which, through
neglect, is almost unrecognised today.
The discipline of masonry bears this title to stress the
value of the thousands of skills, big and small, that a
good builder needs – skills that are very useful in the
restoration sector. This concept is intended as a contrast
to reinforced concrete, which has become the solution
to all structural problems. The master mason teaches
students ancient masonry techniques. This isn't about
training labourers but aspiring masons.
The school that has recently set up in Solomeo would
like to be a school of today that looks to the future, one
that deals not only with with technique and art but also
with philosophy and ethics. In fact, the Solomeo School
is built on the conviction that a craftsman will never truly
be noble if he does not have a good soul, autonomy of
judgement, fidelity to nature and a true heart.